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City of God (2002)

Cidade de Deus (original title)
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In the slums of Rio, two kids' paths diverge as one struggles to become a photographer and the other a kingpin.

Directors:

Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund (co-director)

Writers:

Paulo Lins (novel), Bráulio Mantovani (screenplay)
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Popularity
668 ( 50)
Top Rated Movies #21 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexandre Rodrigues ... Buscapé - Rocket
Leandro Firmino ... Zé Pequeno - Li'l Zé (as Leandro Firmino da Hora)
Phellipe Haagensen Phellipe Haagensen ... Bené - Benny
Douglas Silva ... Dadinho - Li'l Dice
Jonathan Haagensen ... Cabeleira - Shaggy
Matheus Nachtergaele Matheus Nachtergaele ... Sandro Cenoura - Carrot
Seu Jorge ... Mané Galinha - Knockout Ned
Jefechander Suplino Jefechander Suplino ... Alicate - Clipper
Alice Braga ... Angélica
Emerson Gomes Emerson Gomes ... Barbantinho - Stringy
Edson Oliveira Edson Oliveira ... Barbantinho Adulto - Older Stringy
Michel Gomes Michel Gomes ... Bené Criança - Young Benny (as Michel De Souza Gomes)
Roberta Rodrigues Roberta Rodrigues ... Berenice - Bernice
Luis Otávio Luis Otávio ... Buscapé Criança - Young Rocket
Kiko Marques Kiko Marques ... Cabeção - Melonhead (as Maurício Marques)
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Storyline

Brazil, 1960s, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970s: Li'l Zé has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bené is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. Yet he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980s: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God. Written by Jeff Mellinger <jeffmellinger@astound.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

15 miles from paradise...one man will do anything to tell the world everything. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, sexuality, drug content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Brazil | France | Germany

Language:

Portuguese

Release Date:

13 February 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of God See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,292, 19 January 2003

Gross USA:

$7,564,459

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,680,793
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When we hear Buscapé (Alexandre Rodrigues) talking to Marina (Graziella Moretto) about how "he never took a hot bath", that was not scripted. Actually, that was Rodrigues and Moretto talking off camera, during a pause in the shooting, when the boy (who lived on the slums) was telling her about his life. See more »

Goofs

Whenever Tio Sam is in the apartment to sell Ze Pequeno the weapons, he inquires whether or not Ze has seen a mini Ruger, which is the same caliber of an M-16, inaccessible in Brazil. Ze shows no interest or knowledge of the Ruger, though he is shown holding up one just like it whenever Buscape is taking photos of the gang. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Zé Pequeno: Whoa, the chicken ran away. Get that chicken, dude!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits shows pictures of the main actors, their name, their character's name and pictures of the real life characters (for the ones based on existing people). See more »

Alternate Versions

The brief orgy scene in the brothel killing sequence was edited out of the version screened in Singapore, despite the movie's R(A) rating (for 21 year olds and older). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Levels (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold Back the Water
Written by Randy Bachman / Robin Bachman / Charles Tuner
Performed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Sony Music Edições Musicais Ltda
Used by permission from Universal Music Ltda
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of my top 10
26 November 2004 | by michaelgsSee all my reviews

I have made an effort to watch all the movies in IMDb's top 100 rated list. As of now, I'm looking for a place where the DVD for Sunset Blvd. is (currently at #30). But this movie is one of the movies I've seen that's on the list. And I find it an amazing film (currently #5 on my top 10 list). What I enjoy about this film is the visual look of the film, but also the way the director puts you in the story. At the end of the film you have become friends with just about everyone in the film, even though some of the characters are very despicable people. The violence hits you in the chest like a load of bricks sometimes, especially when you recognize that many of the kids involved in the violence are right around 10 or 11, but you also realize that this reflects the culture of the slum these kids live in.

Gangster films always seem to make for good dramas (e.g. the Godfather, Goodfellas), where the culture of evil almost always triumphs as the dominant character. This film is no different, but it shows the life of children in places where bribery and corruption reigns supreme. It also shows the bravery of many of these people when even the government won't stick up for them.

If you're thinking of starting to watch some foreign language films, this is a good place to start. It is a classic IMO among films made in languages besides English. I did find that the subtitles in this film were done rather poorly (they displayed on my DVD player at the wrong times and it took a few plays to figure out who was saying what.) But I think the film itself is a truly great film.


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